Den tidligere amerikanske senator Strom Thurmond dør

Den tidligere amerikanske senator Strom Thurmond dør

Strom Thurmond, der tjente i det amerikanske senat i rekordhøje 46 år, dør den 26. juni 2003. Thurmonds lange og kontroversielle politiske karriere var endt med hans pensionering et år tidligere.

Thurmond blev født den 5. december 1902 i Edgefield, South Carolina, hvor han også døde. Han tog eksamen fra det, der nu er Clemson University i 1923 med en grad i gartneri og blev lærer og coach, og senere superintendent for skoler. Mens han arbejdede i uddannelse, studerede han jura om natten og bestod baren i 1930. Han arbejdede som advokat og til sidst dommer, før han tjente i 2. verdenskrig, hvor han deltog i D-Day i Normandiet med hærens 82. luftbårne division .

Thurmonds politiske karriere begyndte i 1946, da han blev guvernør i South Carolina, en stilling han havde i en periode. Som guvernør såvel som i den tidlige del af sin kongreskarriere var han berømt for segregering og sagde endda i en tale fra 1948: ”Jeg vil sige jer, mine damer og herrer, at der ikke er nok tropper i hæren til at tvinge det sydlige folk for at nedbryde adskillelsen og indrømme negerræset i vores teatre, i vores svømmebassiner, i vores hjem og i vores kirker. ” Det var også i 1948, at Thurmond stillede sin ene og eneste kandidat til præsidentposten, som kandidat for Dixiecrat -partiet, i protest mod Harry Trumans nominering af Det demokratiske parti, som han var medlem af. Han blev let besejret, men vandt dog delstaterne South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama og Louisiana og deres tilsammen 39 valgstemmer.

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I 1954 stillede Thurmond op til USAs senat som demokrat på en segregeringsplatform og blev den eneste kandidat, der nogensinde blev valgt til senatet ved en indskrivningsafstemning. Tre år inde i denne første periode opførte han notorisk en rekordstor enkeltmandsfilibuster for at besejre et borgerrettighedsregning, der varede mere end 24 timer. Selv om det er uvist, om hans personlige overbevisning om racemæssig ligevægt nogensinde har ændret sig, blev hans politiske adfærd mere moderat i 1970'erne, måske som en del af et forsøg på at forlænge sin politiske karriere i skiftende tider. Denne ændring af hjertet, uanset om den var ægte eller ej, blev eksemplificeret ved hans godkendelse af en fornyelse af stemmerettighedsloven i 1982 og hans stemme for at oprette Martin Luther King, Jr. føderalferie i 1983.

I hele sin karriere var Thurmond under alle omstændigheder en splittende kraft i amerikansk politik. Hans kritikere troede, at han var en skamløs racist og fordømte hans påståede vane med nederdel-jagt. Thurmond var gift to gange, anden gang da han var 66 år gammel med en 22-årig tidligere Miss South Carolina, men havde også ry for at gøre hyppige fremskridt på en lang række kvinder, der krydsede hans vej. Hans fans syntes imidlertid at være underholdt af hans ry som en "skurk" og beundrede hans skævhed og personlige disciplin - Thurmond røg aldrig eller drak kaffe og kun sjældent forkælet alkohol - samt hans personlige styrke. Selv i 90'erne, da hans helbred begyndte at svigte, nægtede Thurmond at bruge en kørestol eller høreapparat offentligt. Han var kendt for personligt at hjælpe sine vælgere regelmæssigt.

Thurmond trak sig tilbage fra senatet i 2002 og døde cirka et år senere i sit hjem i South Carolina. I december 2003 meddelte Essie Mae Washington-Williams, at hun var hans uægte datter, født af Thurmond og hendes mor Carrie Butler, en sort stuepige, der havde arbejdet i hans families hjem. Thurmond var 22, da hun blev født; Butler var kun 16. Selvom han aldrig offentligt anerkendte hende, mens han var i live, bekræftede en repræsentant for hans familie Washington-Williams erklæring, og det blev rapporteret, at de to havde et relativt tæt forhold.


Biografi af Strom Thurmond, segregationistisk politiker

Strom Thurmond var en segregeringspolitiker, der stillede op til præsident i 1948 på en platform, der var imod civilrettigheder for afroamerikanere. Senere tjente han 48 år - en forbløffende otte perioder - som en amerikansk senator fra South Carolina. I de senere årtier af sin karriere skjulte Thurmond sit syn på race ved at hævde, at han kun nogensinde havde været imod overdreven føderal magt.


Tidligere senator Strom Thurmond dør

Tidligere amerikanske senator Strom Thurmond, den ældste og længst fungerende senator i historien, døde torsdag omgivet af sin familie i hans hjemby Edgefield, SC, rapporterer Associated Press.

Politikeren, der i januar sidste år trak sig tilbage efter mere end 48 år i public service, begyndte sit politiske liv som demokrat under den store depression, stillede op til præsident i 1948 og støttede den hvide segregeringsbevægelse og skiftede til sidst sin troskab til det republikanske parti i 1964.

I hele sin karriere var Thurmond det mest synlige ikon for sydlig konservativisme. Han havde en entusiasme og lidenskab, som ingen jeg nogensinde har mødt i mit liv, siger senator Lindsey Graham, der tog Thurmond ’s sæde efter sin pensionering, til AP. South Carolina ’s yndlingssøn er væk, men han vil aldrig blive glemt. ”

Senatoren, hvis helbred var faldet siden han forlod Washington, havde boet i en suite på Edgefield County Hospital i sin hjemby. Han døde fredeligt, og hans bortgang blev markeret med et øjebliks stilhed på senatgulvet torsdag aften, rapporterer AP.

“Omgivet af familie hvilede min far komfortabelt, uden smerter og i fuld fred, ” sagde hans søn, Strom Thurmond Jr., i en erklæring frigivet af hospitalet.


Indhold

Washington var datter af Carrie Butler, der var 15 eller 16, da hendes datter blev født, og Strom Thurmond, dengang 22. [3] Carrie Butler arbejdede som hushjælp for Thurmonds forældre. Hun sendte sin datter fra South Carolina til sin storesøster Mary og hendes mand John Henry Washington for at blive opvokset i Coatesville, Pennsylvania. Pigen blev opkaldt Essie efter en anden af ​​Carries søstre, der plejede hende kort som spædbarn. Essie Mae voksede op med sin fætter, syv år ældre end hende, som hun troede var hendes halvbror. [4] Washington var uvidende om identiteten af ​​hendes biologiske forældre indtil 1941, da hun var 16. Hendes mor fortalte hende den fulde historie dengang og tog hende med til at møde Thurmond personligt. [5]

Washington og hendes mor mødtes efterfølgende sjældent med Thurmond, selvom de havde kontakt i årevis. [6] Efter gymnasiet arbejdede Washington-Williams som sygeplejerske på Harlem Hospital i New York City og tog et kursus i erhvervsuddannelse ved New York University.

Hun besøgte ikke det adskilte Syd før i 1942, da hun mødte slægtninge i Edgefield. Efter at være vokset op i Pennsylvania, blev Washington chokeret over Sydens racemæssige begrænsninger. Hun vendte tilbage til Norden for at bo hos slægtninge i krigsårene. Efter Thurmond vendte tilbage fra Anden Verdenskrig, begyndte hun college på det helt sorte South Carolina State College (SCSC) i efteråret 1947. [2]: 128 Thurmond betalte stille og roligt for sin universitetsuddannelse. Hun mødte og giftede sig med den kommende advokat Julius Williams ved SCSC i 1948. Hendes første barn, Julius Williams Jr., blev født i 1949. Som et resultat droppede Essie Mae Washington-Williams fra college i sommeren 1949 for at begynde at opdrage det første af hendes fire børn. [2]: 151

I slutningen af ​​1950'erne og 1960'erne, årene med national aktivisme i borgerrettighedsbevægelsen, forsøgte Washington lejlighedsvis at diskutere racisme med Thurmond, der var kendt for sin mangeårige politiske støtte til adskillelse, men han fjernede hendes klager over adskilte faciliteter. [6] Ikke desto mindre mente Washington-Williams, at hun havde en betydelig indvirkning på Thurmond under deres private samtaler om race og raceforhold, og at Thurmonds politik over for afroamerikanere blev påvirket som følge heraf. I 1976 nominerede Thurmond f.eks. Matthew J. Perry, [7], som Essie Mae datede i 1947 kort før hun mødte sin første mand, til U.S. Court of Military Appeals. Thurmond blev den første sydlige senator, der nominerede en afroamerikaner til et føderalt dommerarbejde. [2]: 198

Efter hendes mands død i 1964 flyttede Washington igen til Los Angeles, Californien, hvor hun afsluttede sine bachelorstudier for at modtage en bachelorgrad fra California State University i 1969 [2]: 187 og fik en kandidatgrad i uddannelse ved universitetet i det sydlige Californien, [8] [9] Hun havde en 30-årig karriere som lærer i Los Angeles Unified School District fra 1967 til 1997. [6] Hun var et mangeårigt medlem af Delta Sigma Theta sorority, som hun sluttede sig til, mens hun i staten South Carolina.

I 1949 forlod Washington college før sit yngre år efter at have giftet sig med Julius T. Williams, en jurastuderende ved SCSC, året før. Efter hans eksamen fra jurastudiet flyttede de til hans hjemby, Savannah, Georgia, hvor han etablerede en advokatpraksis og var aktiv i NAACP. [8] [10] De havde to sønner og to døtre sammen. Han døde i 1964. Tre børn bor i området Seattle, Washington, og en datter bor i nærheden af ​​Los Angeles. Washington-Williams har mange børnebørn.

I 2004 sagde Washington-Williams, at hun havde til hensigt at være aktiv på vegne af Black Patriots Foundation, som skaffede midler til at bygge et monument på National Mall i Washington DC for at ære amerikanske sorte, der tjente i revolutionskrigen. [11] Denne organisation blev nedlagt året efter. En anden gruppe indsamler nu midler til monumentet.

I 2004 ansøgte Washington-Williams om medlemskab af De Forenede Døtre af Konføderationen baseret på hendes arv gennem Thurmond til forfædre, der kæmpede som konfødererede soldater. [12] Hun døde, inden hun blev accepteret. [13] Hun havde også til hensigt at slutte sig til Daughters of the American Revolution. [11]

Washington-Williams døde 4. februar 2013 i Columbia, South Carolina, 87 år gammel. [15] [16]


Senator Strom Thurmond død ved 100

WASHINGTON (AP)-Senator Strom Thurmond fra South Carolina, en engang demokratisk segregationist, der hjalp med at brænde op for det moderne konservative republikanske parti i syd, døde torsdag. Han var 100 og historiens længst siddende senator.

Thurmond døde klokken 21.45, sagde hans søn Strom Thurmond Jr. Han havde boet i en nyrenoveret fløj på et hospital i sin hjemby Edgefield, siden han vendte tilbage til staten fra Washington tidligere på året.

Thurmond, hvis fysiske og politiske udholdenhed var legendarisk - han har rekorden for solo Senat filibustering - trak sig tilbage den 5. januar 2003 efter mere end 48 år i embedet.

Alder tog sin uundgåelige vejafgift på Thurmond, da han nærmede sig pensionering, og han blev guidet gennem Capitol i en kørestol. Alligevel udøvede han politisk magt stort set til det sidste, idet han herskede af, at præsident Bush udnævnte sin 29-årige søn, Strom Jr., til amerikansk advokat i South Carolina i 2001.

Thurmond er "ud over kritik" i South Carolina, sagde Furman Universitys politiske videnskabsmand Don Aiesi, da senatorens helbred faldt, og han gennemgik en række hospitalsindlæggelser sent i sin kongresperiode. & quotStrom er den mest ærværdige af institutioner her. & quot

I en politisk karriere, der strakte sig over syv årtier, vandt Thurmond sit første valg i 1928 til det lokale embede og det sidste i 1996 til sin ottende senatperiode. "Vi kan ikke, og jeg vil ikke opgive vores mission om at rette op på liberalismens 40-årige fejl," sagde han under sin sidste kampagne. Folk i South Carolina ved, at Strom Thurmond ikke kan lide ufærdige forretninger. & quot

Hans afstemningsrekord var pro-forsvar, antikommunistisk og stærkt konservativ. Hans hengivenhed for konstituerende tjenester var legendarisk. Han var en livslang fysisk fitness buff, som undgik tobak og alkohol og var kendt for sit kraftige håndtryk. Han havde et stor, livslangt ry som en dame ' mand.

Thurmond stillede op til præsidentposten som Dixiecrat i 1948 og vandt 39 sydlige valgstemmer som led i et opstand mellem stater og rettigheder mod præsident Harry Truman's støtte til borgerrettigheder. Næsten et årti senere satte han senatrekorden for filibustering, da han i 24 timer og 18 minutter talte imod et lovforslag om at stoppe diskrimination i boliger.

Ironisk nok udløste hans præsidentkampagne kontroverser mere end et halvt århundrede senere, da daværende majoritetsleder Trent Lott erklærede ved Thurmond 's 100 års fødselsdagsfest, at vælgerne i Mississippi var stolte over at have støttet South Carolinian, da han stillede op til Det Hvide Hus. "Hvis resten af ​​landet havde fulgt vores forspring, ville vi heller ikke have haft alle disse problemer i alle disse år," tilføjede Lott, der blev tvunget til at træde tilbage som senatets republikanske leder i det efterfølgende oprør.

Thurmonds racepolitik ændrede sig i årenes løb, da sorte begyndte at stemme i stort antal. Han blev den første sydlige senator til at ansætte en sort medhjælper, støttede udnævnelsen af ​​en sort sydlig føderal dommer og stemte for at gøre Martin Luther King Jr. 's fødselsdag til en national helligdag.

Hans udsyn virkede meget anderledes for et halvt århundrede siden, da han stillede op som præsident.

"Jeg vil fortælle dig," sagde han i en tale i 1948, "at der ikke er nok tropper i hæren til at tvinge det sydlige folk til at nedbryde segregeringen og indrømme negerræset i vores teatre, i vores svømmehaller, i vores hjem og ind i vores kirker. & quot

Thurmond voksede op som demokrat - hans far løb engang til posten - men skiftede til GOP i 1964 for at støtte Barry Goldwater 's konservative kampagne for Det Hvide Hus.

Han sagde på det tidspunkt, at han havde taget skridtet, fordi demokraterne ledede udviklingen af ​​vores nation til et socialistisk diktatur.

Som andre sydlige stater havde South Carolina været en etpartis demokratiske stat siden genopbygningens afslutning næsten et århundrede tidligere. Thurmond 's switch forventede en bredere trend. I 1990'erne favoriserede Syd GOP, og republikanske kandidater sejrede generelt i løb i hele staten i South Carolina.

Første gang han løb som republikaner, i 1966, vandt han let.

I 1968 spillede Thurmond en central rolle i udførelsen af ​​& quot; Southern Strategy & quot; der hjalp Richard Nixon med at vinde Det Hvide Hus. Sydkarolineren hjalp med at holde sydlige delegater i kø ved GOP -stævnet, da en karismatisk konservativ, Ronald Reagan, spillede sent om nomineringen. Ved folketingsvalget søgte han at stumpe George Wallace 's tredjepartskandidatur i Syd og argumenterede for, at alt andet end en stemme på Nixon ville hjælpe med at vælge en liberal demokrat, Hubert Humphrey.

Født 5. december 1902 i Edgefield, S.C., James Strom Thurmond - Strom var hans mors pigenavn - blev valgt til amtskolens superintendent, stats senator og kredsdommer, inden han meldte sig ind i hæren under anden verdenskrig. Han landede i Normandiet som en del af 82. Airborne Division-angreb på D-Day og vandt fem kampstjerner og adskillige andre priser.

Krigen sluttede, han vendte hjem for at genoptage sin politiske karriere og vandt valget som guvernør i 1946. Hans rekord var progressiv efter moderne standarder for en syddemokrat. Han pressede på for at ophæve afstemningsskatten og øgede uddannelsesudgifterne.

Han tabte et løb i South Carolina for eneste gang i sin karriere fire år senere, da han udfordrede den siddende senator Olin Johnston til renomination. I nederlag vendte han hjem for at praktisere jura.

Men i 1954 døde senator Burnet Maybank uventet. Da partifunktionærer bankede på en statslovgiver for at stille op til stillingen, udfordrede Thurmond som indskrivningskandidat og sagde, at vælgerne, ikke partiets ledere, skulle afgøre, hvem der fik nomineringen. For at understrege hans legitimationsoplysninger som oprør lovede han at fratræde sit sæde, inden han søgte genvalg i 1956.

Han vandt, den eneste person i historien, der tog et sæde i kongressen ved at skrive ind. To år senere beholdt han sit løfte om at træde tilbage, inden han løb i de fire år, der var tilbage af perioden.

Hans præsidentløb og indskrivningssejr bag ham ankom Thurmond til Washington med et landsdækkende ry. Borgerrettighedsbevægelsen var ved at samle damp, men han holdt fast ved sine segregationistiske synspunkter i årevis.

Han var leder i udarbejdelsen af ​​det sydlige manifest i 1956, hvor sydlige lovgivere lovede modstand mod Højesterets enstemmige skoledegregeringsordre. I 1957 iscenesatte han sin rekord non -stop filibuster mod boliglovgivning, som han fordømte som & quotrace -blanding. & Quot

Ironisk nok var Thurmond's segregationistiske synspunkter i tidligere årtier mere nuancerede end dem, som andre sydlige politikere havde.

Som guvernør opfordrede han til kraftig retsforfølgelse, efter at en sort mand, en mordmistænkt, blev lyncheret af en pøbel. Resultatet var en retssag, hvor 31 hvide mænd var tiltalte.

Hans nederlag fra 1950 kom i hænderne på en modstander, der lavede et spørgsmål om Thurmond's guvernørudnævnelse af en sort læge til et statsligt medicinsk rådgivende udvalg.

Som mange engangssegregationister insisterede Thurmond på, at spørgsmålet ikke var race, men "føderal magt vs. statsmagt"-selvom den statsmagt, han ønskede at bevare, var magten til at adskille sig.

"Spørgsmålet om integration var kun en facet af sagen," sagde han i et interview i november 1992.

Viser, hvor meget hans verden havde ændret sig, i 1977 indgav Thurmond 's unge datter, Nancy, 6, en offentlig skole i Columbia, SC, der var 50 procent sort. Pigens lærer var også sort.

Thurmond 's første kone, Jean Crouch, var 23 år yngre. Parret giftede sig i 1947, og hun døde af en hjernesvulst i 1960.

Hans anden kone, den tidligere skønhedsdronning Nancy Moore, var 44 år yngre end Thurmond, da de blev gift i 1968. Thurmond var 68, da deres første barn, Nancy, blev født. Parret fik tre andre børn, før de blev separeret i 1991: Strom Jr., Juliana og Paul. Nancy døde i 1993 efter at være blevet påkørt af en bil.


Ex-S.C. Senator Strom Thurmond dør ved 100

Den tidligere amerikanske senator Strom Thurmond døde i aftes i en alder af 100. Han var i senatet i 48 af sine 100 år.

Han huskes bedst for en tredjeparts præsidentkamp i 1948. Syddemokraterne nominerede deres egen kandidat, oprørt over præsident Harry Trumans støtte til borgerrettigheder. Thurmond havde fire sydstater, godt til 39 valgstemmer. Truman vandt valget alligevel.

I et århundrede af liv drevet af brændende politisk lidenskab og opretholdt gennem legendarisk udholdenhed efterlod Strom Thurmond, den længst fungerende amerikanske senator i historien, et spor af superlativer om amerikansk politisk historie.

Thurmond, der døde torsdag aften på et hospital i sin hjemby i en alder af 100, havde senatrekorden for filibustering. Han var den eneste person, der tog et sæde i kongressen ved at skrive ind. Hans politiske karriere strakte sig over syv årtier.

Og den engangs demokratiske segregationists afgang til GOP var med til at brænde op for det moderne konservative republikanske parti i syd.

"Han havde entusiasme og lidenskab som ingen, jeg nogensinde har mødt i mit liv," sagde senator Lindsey Graham, RS.C., som erstattede Thurmond efter sin pensionering den 5. januar 2003 efter mere end 48 år i embedet . "South Carolines yndlingssøn er væk, men han vil aldrig blive glemt."

Thurmond døde klokken 21.45. efter at have været ved dårligt helbred i de seneste uger, sagde hans søn Strom Thurmond Jr. Han havde boet i en nyrenoveret fløj på et hospital i sin hjemby Edgefield, SC, siden han vendte tilbage til staten fra Washington tidligere på året.

"Omgivet af familie hvilede min far behageligt, uden smerter og i fuld fred," sagde Thurmond Jr. i en erklæring, der blev frigivet af hospitalet.

Fra kongreshaller til hans hjemstat _ hvor hans navn pryder gymnasier, føderale bygninger, gader og en sø _ Thurmond blev husket som en utrættelig arbejder for sine vælgere og en politisk kraft selv af dem, der var i modstrid med det til tider kontroversielle sydlige ikon .

I Washington suspenderede senatet midlertidigt debatten torsdag om Medicare -lovgivning for at hylde Thurmond.

"Strom Thurmond vil for altid være et symbol på, hvad en person kan opnå, når de lever livet, som vi alle ved, han gjorde, til fulde," sagde senatets majoritetsleder Bill Frist, R-Tenn.

Den amerikanske senator Fritz Hollings, D-S.C., Tjente hos Thurmond i mere end 35 år. "Selvom vi endte på andre sider af gangen, var der aldrig nogen tvivl om interessen i South Carolina," sagde Hollings torsdag aften.

Thurmond vandt sit første valg i 1928, til lokalkontoret, og hans sidste i 1996 til sin ottende senatperiode. "Vi kan ikke _ og jeg vil ikke _ opgive vores mission om at rette op på liberalismens 40-årige fejl," sagde han under sin sidste kampagne. "Befolkningen i South Carolina ved, at Strom Thurmond ikke kan lide ufærdige forretninger."

Hans afstemningsrekord var pro-forsvar, antikommunistisk og stærkt konservativ.

Thurmonds fysiske kraft var også legendarisk. Han var en livslang træningsinteresseret, som undgik tobak og alkohol og var kendt for sit kraftige håndtryk. Han havde et historisk, livslangt ry som en damemand.

Men alderen tog sin uundgåelige vejafgift, da han nærmede sig pensionering, og han blev guidet gennem Capitol i en kørestol. Alligevel udøvede han politisk magt stort set til det sidste, idet han herskede over, at præsident Bush udnævnte sin dengang 28-årige søn, Strom Jr., til amerikansk advokat i South Carolina i 2001.

Thurmond stillede op til præsidentposten som Dixiecrat i 1948 og vandt 39 sydlige valgstemmer som en del af et opstand om staterettigheder. Næsten et årti senere satte han senatrekorden for filibustering, da han i 24 timer og 18 minutter talte imod et lovforslag om at stoppe diskrimination i boliger.

"Den søde, vidunderlige Strom Thurmond, vi kender i dag, var en slibende, aggressiv wielder af magt" under Civil Rights -æraen, sagde historiker fra University of South Carolina, Dan Carter sidst i fjor, da Thurmond fejrede sin 100 -års fødselsdag. "Det burde være en del af det, vi husker om dette ekstraordinære individ."

Thurmonds præsidentkampagne udløste kontrovers sidste år, da daværende majoritetsleder Trent Lott erklærede ved Thurmonds 100-års fødselsdagsfest, at vælgerne i Mississippi var stolte over at have støttet sydkaroliner, da han stillede op til Det Hvide Hus. Lott blev tvunget til at træde tilbage som senatets republikanske leder i det efterfølgende oprør.

Thurmonds racepolitik ændrede sig i årenes løb, da han blev den første sydlige senator til at ansætte en sort medhjælper, støttede udnævnelsen af ​​en sort sydlig føderal dommer og stemte for at gøre Martin Luther King Jr.s fødselsdag til en national helligdag.

"Senator Thurmond var et symbol på det gamle syd, men hans vilje til at ændre sig over tid var et eksempel for mange sydkarolinere," sagde den demokratiske amerikanske rep. James Clyburn, det eneste sorte medlem af statens kongressdelegation.

Thurmond voksede op som demokrat - hans far stillede engang til posten - men skiftede til GOP i 1964 for at støtte Barry Goldwaters konservative kampagne for Det Hvide Hus.

Som andre sydlige stater havde South Carolina været en etpartis demokratiske stat siden slutningen af ​​genopbygningen næsten et århundrede tidligere. Thurmonds skifte forventede en bredere tendens i 1990'erne, Syd begunstigede GOP, og republikanske kandidater sejrede generelt i statslige løb i South Carolina.

Første gang han løb som republikaner, i 1966, vandt han let.

I 1968 spillede Thurmond en central rolle i udførelsen af ​​den "sydlige strategi", der hjalp Richard Nixon med at vinde Det Hvide Hus. Sydkarolineren hjalp med at holde sydlige delegater i kø ved GOP -stævnet, da en karismatisk konservativ, Ronald Reagan, spillede sent om nomineringen. Ved folketingsvalget søgte han at stumpe George Wallaces tredjepartskandidatur i Syd og argumenterede for, at alt andet end en stemme på Nixon ville hjælpe med at vælge en liberal demokrat, Hubert Humphrey.

Født 5. december 1902 i Edgefield, James Strom Thurmond _ Strom var hans mors pigenavn _ blev valgt til amtskoleinspektør, statssenator og kredsdommer, inden han meldte sig ind i hæren under anden verdenskrig. Han landede i Normandiet som en del af 82. luftbårne divisions angreb på D-Day og vandt fem kampstjerner og adskillige andre priser.

Krigen sluttede, han vendte hjem for at genoptage sin politiske karriere og vandt valget som guvernør i 1946. Hans rekord var progressiv efter nutidens standarder for en syddemokrat. Han pressede på for at ophæve afstemningsskatten og øgede uddannelsesudgifterne.


Strom Thurmond Nettoværdi

Senator fra South Carolina, der tjente staten i otteogfyrre af sine 100 år. På tidspunktet for sin pensionering var han den ældste og længst siddende senator i amerikansk historie.


Strom Thurmond, senatlegenden, dør

Strom Thurmond, den ældste og længst siddende senator i historien, døde i aftes i en alder af 100 år.

Mr. Thurmond døde kl. 21.45, sagde hans søn Strom Thurmond Jr. Han havde boet i en nyrenoveret fløj på et hospital i sin hjemby Edgefield, SC, siden han trak sig tilbage efter 48 år i Senatet tidligere på året.

Omgivet af familie hvilede min far komfortabelt uden smerter og i fuld fred, sagde den yngre hr. Thurmond i en erklæring, der blev frigivet af hospitalet.

Senatet, der arbejdede på en revision af Medicare, da det modtog nyheder om Thurmond's død, stoppede arbejdet et øjebliks stilhed og for flere hyldest til en mand, der kæmpede som en faldskærmstropper fra Anden Verdenskrig i den 82. luftbårne division og løb som præsident som en “Dixiecrat ” i 1948.

En kæmpe eg i skoven af ​​public service er faldet, ” sagde senator Ernest F. Hollings, demokrat i South Carolina, der fungerede som junior senator hos Thurmond i 36 år.

Senatets majoritetsleder Bill Frist sagde, at Thurmond's 100-årige liv virkelig var uovertruffen i offentlig service. ”

Han var i mange henseender en legende, ” sagde senatets minoritetsleder Tom Daschle, South Dakota -demokraten. Han var en guvernør, en præsidentkandidat, en soldat, en far, en borger. ”

Hr. Thurmond nød et ry som en oldtid fra den sidste bastion af høflige sydlige herrer, en antik i nutiden. Han gennemlevede 18 formandskaber og var vidne til store opfindelser fra flyet og fjernsynet til pc'en og Internettet.

Hans stil, præget af en tyk træk, der kun er forståelig for det uddannede eller indfødte øre, modstod stort set den gamle orden og ændrede sig i løbet af hans 48 år i Senatet, hvor han i 1950'erne blev en fremtrædende kamp i bestræbelserne på at ophæve Jim Crow -lovene, der adskilt Syd.

Men hans image som en stærk segregationist Dixiecrat overgik sine synspunkter om raceforhold, der udviklede sig over tid, og tæmmede den slags overbevisninger, han havde i 1957, da han førte en rekordfilm på 24 timer og 18 minutter over borgerrettighedsloven, en bedrift, ikke desto mindre indvarslede han i årtier.

Hr. Thurmond blev efterfulgt i senatet af republikaneren Lindsey Graham, der i aftes roste manden for et#8220 et rigt liv ” og fordi han “ ændrede sig med tiden. ”

“Han var go-to-fyren. Hvis du havde et problem med din familie eller din virksomhed, kan du ringe til senator Thurmond. Du ville få et opkald tilbage, og han ville bat for dig, sagde Graham i aftes.

I 1971 blev han den første sydlige senator til at ansætte en sort medarbejder. Senere støttede han lovgivning, der gjorde Martin Luther King ’s fødselsdag til en national helligdag. I et interview i marts 1996 med Capitol Hill -avisen Roll Call sagde senatoren om integration: “Jeg tror, ​​det er til det bedre. ”

I 1995 fik han en pris af Greater Washington Urban League under en middagsceremoni med titlen “Black and White and Great Together: The Unity Continues. ”

Men Thurmond forsvarede altid sin tidligere modstand mod borgerrettigheder og sagde, at han simpelthen fulgte loven i hans hjemstat South Carolina og resten af ​​det adskilte Syd.

Hans lange embedsperiode gjorde ham både til den ældste mand nogensinde til at tjene i senatet og dets længst siddende medlem. Han opgav sit eftertragtede formandskab for Senatets væbnede tjenesteudvalg i 1999, men insisterede på at blive i senatet, indtil hans periode sluttede i 2002.

Så længe jeg er af sundt sind og krop, vil jeg fortsætte med at arbejde hårdt for at tjene mine andre sydkarolinere og sørge for nationens styring, ” sagde han i 1997.

Hjælpere til andre senatorer, der tjener i udvalget, udtrykte lettelse over Thurmond's beslutning, selvom de talte kærligt om South Carolina senatoren —, der vandt 39 valgstemmer, da han stillede op som præsident som en stater ’ Rettighedsdemokrat i 1948 — som en “farfar ” og “hentlemanly ” figur.

Flere senatorer, der følte, at den aldrende senator ikke længere var i stand til at forsøge at fjerne ham fra formandskabet i panelet i 1995, men Thurmond, der var stolt over sin smidighed og styrke ud over sine år, reagerede hurtigt og kraftfuldt og afværgede kupforsøget og holdt fast i hans gavel.

Ingen, der nogensinde mødte senatoren, kunne glemme det jerngreb, han havde til et håndtryk. En veteran fra Anden Verdenskrig, der stormede Normandiet den 6. juni 1944, var han måske kendt lige så meget for sine lovgivningsmæssige resultater i løbet af sin farverige offentlige karriere som for hans personlige fysiske præstationer.

Efter at hans første kone døde, giftede Thurmond sig igen i 1968 i en alder af 66 år, denne gang med en 22-årig tidligere Miss South Carolina. De havde fire børn sammen, hvoraf den sidste senatoren var far til i 70'erne. Parret blev skilt i 1991.

Meget af senatorens senere karriere blev formet af personlig tragedie. I 1993 blev hans 22-årige datter dræbt af en beruset chauffør, hvilket fik den sorgramte far til at deltage i den nationale organdonationskampagne. Blot to uger før hans datters død, havde han indført lovgivning for at kræve advarsler om alkoholannoncer.

Han var også kendt som en berygtet, ikke så fjern beundrer af kvinder. I 1994 blev han anklaget for at have forsøgt at gribe Washington Sen. Patty Murray i en elevator. Og han kunne også godt lide at vise sine muskler frem. Ved en lejlighed i 1980'erne blev han set ved at hente en kvindelig nyhedsreporter i en stolt demonstration af styrke.

Men da hans kraft faldt i de senere år, havde Thurmond åbenlyse problemer med at komme rundt i senatet eller langt mindre huske hans tidsplan og endda navnene på andre senatorer, som han havde arbejdet med i årevis.

Den sløvede kendsgerning er, at senatet i virkeligheden er Thurmonds plejehjem, og magasinet Newsweek skrev i 1996. Det samme nummer rapporterede, at Thurmond glemte navnet på senator Phil Gramm, Texas Republican, da han rejste sig for at præsentere ham ved en Rotary Club -middag.

Mr. Thurmond’s health declined rapidly in the last three years of his life, with a half-dozen visits to the hospital in just the year before his 99th birthday.

At that birthday party in December 2001, with aides bracing each arm, Mr. Thurmond paused for photographers before the luncheon, which featured a cake and a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday.”

“I love all of you, and if you’re a woman, I love you even more,” responded Mr. Thurmond, maintaining his reputation as a colorful and flirtatious character.

Asked by a female reporter how he planned to celebrate his birthday, Mr. Thurmond first responded, “Nothing special.” But after thinking for a moment, he took the reporter’s hand and said, “Maybe I can take you out on a blind date.”

First elected to the Senate in 1954 as the first and only senator ever to be elected as a write-in candidate, the South Carolina lawmaker remained one of his state’s most popular politicians.

He was returned to office in 1996 after crushing his opponent, Democrat Elliott Close, a wealthy real estate developer. Mr. Thurmond thanked his constituents by including $86 million for military-construction projects in South Carolina in a sweeping defense-authorization bill for 1997, crafted by his committee.

Mr. Thurmond began his political career as a Democrat, but bolted the party in 1948 to run as the States’ Rights candidate for president. He joined the Republican Party in 1964, declaring that the Democratic Party, which had adopted a strong civil rights plank, was “leading the evolution of our nation to a socialistic dictatorship.”


Sen. Strom Thurmond spent a lifetime in public service

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Sen. Strom Thurmond, R- S.C., in his Capitol Hill office, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2002. Thurmond will celebrate his 100th birthday tommorrow. (Gannett News Service, Heather Martin Morrissey) (Photo: Heather Martin Morrissey, The Greenville News Copyright 2002No) Buy Photo

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Editor's note: This story originally published on June 27, 2003. June 26 is the 15th anniversary of Sen. Strom Thurmond's death.

Strom Thurmond's death Thursday in a country hospital near his Edgefield birthplace ends a century-long American saga of tumult, triumph and change.

He was until the end a lightning rod for the nation's continuing struggle over race, the issue that largely defined Thurmond throughout the 20th century and chased him into the new millennium.

Friends and even former enemies said he was more complicated than the searing symbol of Southern racism he had become and that his life was a testimony to the power of redemption.

But his role as a warrior in the segregationist army never turned him loose. The incoming majority leader of the Senate, Trent Lott of Mississippi, reignited the controversy anew last year when he said at Thurmond's 100th birthday party that the country might have been better off had the segregationist Thurmond been elected president in 1948.

The fierce national reaction to those comments drove Lott from his leadership position. And it wrapped the 100-year-old Thurmond in a renewed national memory of him.

Just weeks before he died, a decision by the clerk of South Carolina's House of Representatives to honor his long career by featuring him on the cover of the Legislative Manual roiled the General Assembly in a rancorous debate, with black legislators saying they were offended because of his racist past.

His friends expressed sadness at the turn events took in the final months of his life. They said it obscured his remarkable history of service to the state and to the nation, as well as the good he had done.

Thurmond was the nation's longest-serving U.S. senator, at 48 years. And he was the oldest, retiring at 100. He climbed out of Edgefield County through a string of small campaigns to become a legislator, a judge and later governor. Thurmond was the only senator in the nation's history elected as a write-in candidate.

Even into his 90s, before he became frail and wheelchair-bound, he remained oddly boyish. He wore inexpensive suits and black military lace-ups and never looked at ease dressed up. He stuffed his pockets with peanuts, ate like a country boy at Washington receptions and relished physical activity and the outdoors.

He was a Tom Sawyer figure who never lost his rural roots. He could describe how to castrate a rooster, run an egg farm and the tricks of breaking a horse. He told stories about the Alamo and the Edgefield men who fought there, as well as his own tales of war. Each flowed from his notions of bravery and honor.

To his enemies, he was mean and cunning. Admirers praised his unflagging toughness. He built his early political career on no small measure of macho bravura. As a judge, he sentenced four men to die and said later in life that he had no regrets. He fought another U.S. senator on the floor of the Capitol.

There was another side. Among the tons of his archived papers are tender love letters to his first wife. His eyes could well with tears when talking about children.

This is an undated childhood photo of Strom Thurmond, who years later became Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C. Thurmond, who is retiring after serving 48 years in the U.S. Senate, will celebrate his 100th birthday Dec. 5, 2002. (AP Photo/ho) (Photo: AP)

Raised on politics

He was born Dec. 5, 1902, to Eleanor Gertrude Strom Thurmond and John William "Will" Thurmond -- county attorney, prosecutor, legislator and judge. Will Thurmond was a political lieutenant of "Pitchfork" Ben Tillman, the dominant figure of post-Civil War South Carolina, who led a farmers' movement and successfully campaigned for governor in 1890.

Thurmond could spin eyewitness accounts of Tillman. Walter Edgar, a South Carolina historian, author of "South Carolina: A History," and a professor at the Uni- versity of South Carolina, said, "How many people today can say they heard Ben Tillman on the stump? When you stop to think about that -- and Tillman had heard Revolutionary War characters -- I mean, that takes in three generations. It takes us back 200 years."

Thurmond prided himself on being a son of Edgefield, a land that had borne James Bonham and William Travis, who fought at the Alamo, and Pitchfork Ben.

As an old man, he talked about sitting in the Edgefield dust as a little boy at a stump debate during the 1912 race for governor. His father had taken his children to hear Ira Jones and Coleman Blease.

"I remember Jones spoke that day and made a fine speech, but he didn't demagogue and he didn't shout and he didn't quite make the impression that Blease did, because Blease was an able speaker and more dynamic," Thurmond said in an interview with The Greenville News.

Thurmond, who learned how to shout and how to demagogue, said the episode served as an example to him throughout his political life.

He graduated from Clemson in 1923. Beneath his photo in the Clemson yearbook are the words, "One cannot always be a hero, but one can always be a man."

Thurmond taught agriculture and coached at high schools in McCormick, Ridge Spring and Edgefield from 1923 until 1929. His political career began that year with his election as Edgefield County's superintendent of education.

He also began studying, or reading, the law under his father and was admitted to the South Carolina Bar in 1930. By 1932, he was working for Franklin Roosevelt's presidential nomination. He was elected to the South Carolina Senate that year, serving until 1938.

Later, as governor, he would underscore in the 1950 Legislative Manual his progressive record. He wrote of his work as a member of the Social Security Committee that sponsored the first law to help the blind, old and poor. He also wrote of his role in helping to write the first rural electrification act and working to create the Santee Cooper power and navigation project.

Thurmond singled out as accomplishments a longer school term, improved textbooks, mandatory school attendance and the "prevention of chiseling ofteachers' salaries." He also supported new buildings at state colleges, the Soil Conservation Act, construction of the Wade Hampton state office building and "legislation for the betterment of labor conditions andprotection of farmers."

It was a record of a big and active government, hardly representative of the second half of Thurmond's life. While the issues would change, though, his political performance would not.

Through five decades, Thurmond's style rarely varied -- clenched fists on the stage, shouting and rasping against the evils of "kowtowing" to outside forces. It was a tough image, full of energy and suspicion.

Off the stump, there was the other Thurmond. At political rallies, funerals, dawn prayer services before inaugurations, and weddings, Thurmond was often the first there, shaking hands, asking about family, making a connection.

Almost the entire Thurmond infrastructure in Washington was about those connections back home. When a young would-be politician, lawyer or judge went to work for the senator, they spent time clipping obituaries for the senator's notes to families and serving as Thurmond's emissary on all manner of missions for constituents.

A tough judge

By 1938, he was a state circuit judge. While on the bench, he sentenced four men to death, three blacks and one white.

David Bruck, one of the nation's foremost opponents of the death penalty, examined Thurmond's death penalty cases. He wrote in The Washington Post in 1981 that Thurmond seated all-white juries to judge black defendants even though the U.S. Supreme Court had condemned the practice.

Bruck referred to a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision written by Justice Hugo Black of Alabama that racial discrimination in jury selection "not only violates our Constitution . but is at war with our basic concepts of a democratic society and a representative government."

The Supreme Court ruling, Bruck wrote, came two months before Thurmond seated the jury in the trial of George Thomas, accused of raping a white woman in Georgetown. "So it can't be said that judges like Thurmond had no way of knowing in 1941 that there was anything wrong with the all-white judicial system. Thurmond and his colleagues did what they did because there was not yet anyone to stand up to them," Bruck wrote.

Thurmond said five decades later that he had no regrets. "I thought the jury came to a correct decision in all of those cases. I think that if I had been sitting on the jury, I would have reached the same verdict. It was merely my duty to impose the punishment as the law provided where they did not recommend mercy," he said.

His years as a circuit judge may have been the favorite in his life, Thurmond said. He had time to ride horses and read history.

Even then, he probably had his eye on a wider game. U.S. District Judge Joe Anderson Jr., who's from Edgefield, said his grandfather was Thurmond's court reporter. He said Thurmond was an unorthodox judge.

"Judges traditionally just live in a bubble. They're very isolated," said Anderson. But Thurmond, he said, would ride the circuit and speak to civic clubs and visit local restaurants, making connections and shaking hands.

"He certainly didn't live in a bubble as a judge, in other words. I think he was looking toward a statewide political career, probably," he said. "And, of course, there's nothing wrong with that."

Sen. Strom Thurmond R-SC., holds a rifle in 1922 during ROTC summer training at Camp McClellan, Ala. Thurmond, who is retiring after serving 48 years in the U.S. Senate, will celebrate his 100th birthday Dec. 5, 2002 . (Photo: AP)

Krigen

Pearl Harbor ended Thurmond's bucolic world of horseback rides and books in the afternoon. He took off his robes, got a leave of absence and joined the Army. He was a 39-year-old first lieutenant.

He was commissioned in the First Army and attached to the 82nd Airborne Division for the invasion of Europe. His war record was a vital part of his political resume, and he described his flight into France behind enemy lines in a glider. He served with the First Army through France, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg and Czechoslovakia. He fought on to Germany and the rendezvous with the Russians.

He listed in his war record five battle stars and 18 decorations, including the Belgian Order of the Crown, the French Croix de Guerre and a Bronze Star.

"We sat on the banks of the river waiting on the Russians to take Berlin,"he said. "I never have been so mad, and the others were, too, that we were not allowed to take Berlin."

Thurmond transferred to the Pacific, and he was in the Philippines when the war ended. He returned home to the bench before resigning and running for governor in 1946.

He continued to serve as an officer in the Army Reserve, and the military remained an essential part of his life. He retired as a major general.

Don Fowler, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and a retired officer in the Army Reserve, said Thurmond was interested in what was known as "military government" and is now called civil affairs. He said Thurmond personally organized the prominent 360th Civil Affairs Brigade.

Thurmond ran for governor as a populist and beat 10 men. He campaigned against the "Barnwell Ring" led by two Barnwell County politicians who controlled state politics -- state Sen. Edgar Brown, the Senate leader, and the speaker of the state House of Representatives, Solomon Blatt.

Edgar, the historian, believes Thurmond's accomplishments as governor don't get the attention they deserve. "He was a damn good governor, given what little power our governors have," he said. Edgar had lunch with Thurmond after the 1998 publication of his South Carolina history. He said the senator talked about his accomplishments as governor as a highlight of his career.

Edgar said Thurmond had a progressive record -- creation of the state Probation, Paroles and Pardons Board, modernization of the Port of Charleston, the extension of the school year to nine months and the addition of the 12th grade. And he said voters repealed the poll tax, divorce was legalized and the Public Welfare Act was amended to provide aid to dependent children under 18.

Performing for the benefit of newsmen, Sen. Strom Thurmond, demonstrates his oratory, minutes after he emerged Aug. 29, 1957 from the Senate chamber where he spoke a record-breaking 24 hours,19 minutes against the compromise civil rights bill. His wife, Jean who kept a sometimes lonely vigil as a one person audience in the Senate gallery, smiles in background. Thurmond who is retiring from serving 48 years in the U.S. Senate will celebrate his 100th birthday on Dec. 5, 2002. (AP Photo/File) (Photo: The Greenville News Copyright 2002No)

A governor marries

He was a 44-year-old governor, though, before he married. She was Jean Crouch, a former beauty queen and one of his secretaries.

Thurmond proposed in a letter, on his office letterhead, and she accepted in a typewritten note. "My darling Jean," he wrote. "You have proved to be a most efficient and capable secretary, and the high caliber of your work has impressed me very much. It is with a deep sense of regret that I will have to inform you that your services will be discontinued as of the last day of this month."

Thurmond wrote he couldn't live happily or accomplish what he needed to do for the state without her. "As soon as you have made up your mind, I should thank you to please give me a decision and do not wait too long because my heart yearns for you, and I want you to be my wife without too much delay."

The same day, she replied, "My dearest Strom, Yes!"

The senator's archived papers at the Strom Thurmond Institute at Clemson include stacks of love letters between them. He calls her "Sugie" and "Wifey." From a political convention in Philadelphia in 1949, Thurmond writes her about his day. "Sweet dreams and good night. I love you -- I do -- I do. Forever yours, Strom."

The marriage lasted until 1960, when Jean Thurmond died of a brain tumor at the National Institutes of Health. De havde ingen børn.

Opposing civil rights

President Truman integrated the armed forces and called for an end to racial discrimination on the job. The Democratic Party adopted a civil rights plank at the 1948 Democratic National Convention and Thurmond led a delegate revolt.

The Southerners formed the States' Rights Party, or Dixiecrats, and nominated Thurmond to run for president, with Mississippi Gov. Fielding Wright as his running mate. He said his goal was to win enough states to throw the election to the House of Representatives, where he could bargain the presidency for concessions on civil rights.

He carried four states -- South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. It wasn't enough to make a difference.

Thurmond returned to Columbia and launched a campaign against U.S. Sen. Olin Johnston in 1950. Johnston was a former governor and a fellow populist. There are politicians still alive who remember how the two tried to outdo each other as race-baiters. At one point in the campaign, Thurmond challenged Johnston to fight outside a courthouse debate in Newberry. They never threw punches.

It was the only election Thurmond lost.

Former Gov. Dick Riley said the South of the 1950s practiced raw, uncomplicated politics. "Things have gotten more complex and he, then, I think, has changed and gotten more complex himself," said Riley.

Whipped by Johnston, Thurmond went home and began practicing law in Aiken.

In 1954, the executive committee of the South Carolina Democratic Party left Sen. Burnet Rhett Maybank's funeral and decided not to hold a primary election for the Senate seat. They chose one of their own, the leader of the Barnwell ring, Edgar Brown.

For Thurmond, it was another opportunity to go to war against a foe he had described before -- the elite attempting to force its will on others. He launched a write-in campaign, which collected wide newspaper support and, in the late days of the race, the backing of Gov. Jimmy Byrnes, an immensely powerful Democrat who had been a congressman, U.S. senator, U.S. Supreme Court justice and U.S. secretary of state.

Thurmond promised voters that he would resign before the next primary to allow them to choose a Democratic nominee. He won with 63 percent of the vote. Thurmond kept his promise, won the primary and returned to Washington, where he stayed.

Harry Dent, who covered the 1954 race as a reporter before becoming Thurmond's top political aide, said the move sealed Thurmond's future success. "He became the unbeatable politician from then forward."

Sen. Strom Thurmond and Congressman W.J. Bryan Dorn, wearing ceremonial headgear watch the Pickens County Centennial parade in October 1968. (Photo: Greenville News Photo Aubrey Bowie)

Racial politicking

Thurmond marched into the Senate at a moment in history when Congress, the political parties and the nation began confronting America's legacy of racial discrimination.

President Eisenhower in his 1957 State of the Union address called for the passage of civil rights legislation. Lyndon Johnson had his eyes on the 1960 presidential campaign and understood the challenge of breaking out of the South to win national support. The Texas senator, the majority leader of the Senate, began moving for civil rights.

Thurmond opposed the legislation. Three decades later, the senator said he was fighting for states' rights, not for the continued oppression of blacks. But his raw language on civil rights left little doubt that he was an aggressive segregationist.

Robert Caro, in the third volume of his examination of the life of Lyndon Johnson, "Master of the Senate," writes that Thurmond was on his own in the filibuster. Even passionate opponents of civil rights such as Georgia Sen. Richard Russell, Caro wrote, compromised on the issue to advance Johnson's presidential ambition.

Thurmond filibustered against the bill and set a Senate record. He talked without interruption for 24 hours, 18 minutes. He stopped after a Senate doctor threatened to pull him off the floor. And his effort was in vain. He sat down and the Senate passed the bill that Eisenhower signed into law.

In his later years, Thurmond repeatedly denied that he was a racist. The thrust of his fight, he said, was against the domination of the states by the federal government.

His Senate speeches, radio addresses and campaign comments back home during the period are largely repetitive, focusing on states' rights. But he was strident and personal in his attack.

Thurmond said in 1964 that "the enforcement of the recently enacted so-called Civil Rights Act will mean the upheaval of social patterns and customs more than a century old in many communities, both in the South and in other areas of the nation as well. To force people to change their pattern of living overnight, to require them to forget how they have acted and reacted over the entire span of their lifetime, creates a potentially dangerous situation.

"In many instances, the best advice which could be given would be for the integration groups to discontinue their demands and their agitation."

He railed against what he described as communist infiltration of the civil rights movement. Thurmond accused Northern congressmen of hypocrisy, saying the North had created a ruthless but effective ghetto system to segregate the races.

"Segregation in the South is honest, open and above-board," said Thurmond in a June 1964 Senate speech. "Of the two systems, or styles of segregation, the Northern and the Southern, there is no doubt whatever in my mind which is the better. Our Southern system, too, has stood and passed the pragmatic test. It works."

He said passage of the civil rights legislation "will mark one of the darkest days in history."

The Senate rolled over him in 1964, just as it did in 1957. Within weeks,Thurmond would become involved in one of the most famous incidents in Senate history, which has endured from its frequent retelling.

President Johnson had nominated former Florida Gov. LeRoy Collins to head the Community Relations Service, created by the Civil Rights Act to mediate disputes. Thurmond opposed him. In a July 1964 statement, Thurmond said Collins would offer advice on how integration could be best achieved, "not whether it should be pushed or not."

He said Collins was one of the "turncoats" who had previously supported segregation and changed their position.

Collins' nomination had to clear a committee vote, and Thurmond attempted to block it by preventing a quorum. He was in the hall outside the hearing room when Texas Sen. Ralph Yarborough tried to enter. Thurmond said years later that Yarborough ordered him inside.

Thurmond said he told the Texas Democrat, "If you're man enough, do it." He said Yarborough grabbed him under his arms and Thurmond threw him to the floor.

"I held him there, just put a scissors on him and just held him there and laid back and took it easy," said Thurmond. Lying on the floor, he said, they worked out a plan. If Thurmond lost, Yarborough could vote. If Thurmond won, he couldn't.

"I let him up, but the rascal went in there and voted anyway," Thurmond told The News. He was far from embarrassed over it. "He weighed about 200 pounds and I weighed about 170 then. But he hadn't taken exercise like I had. He wasn't tough and hard."

Changing parties

His disenchantment with the Democratic Party was complete. Thurmond bolted from the party in 1964, throwing his support to Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater in his campaign to defeat Johnson. He went to work building the party in South Carolina.

"When he switched, it just made all the difference in the world," said Fowler. "He made the Republican Party legitimate in South Carolina and by implication, the rest of the South."

The importance of the switch became clear in 1968 when Thurmond aligned himself with Richard Nixon and held Southern delegates for Nixon against a challenge by Alabama Gov. George Wallace. Thurmond had become a national political force. Fowler said Thurmond delivered several Southern states to Nixon.

Edgar, the historian, said Thurmond's break to the Republicans in 1964 and his success in 1968 "changed the course of American history" in building the Republican Party in the South. His work for Nixon "gave him an inside track that no other Southern senator had."

Thurmond's moves to keep Wallace bottled up and promote Nixon in the South signaled an important political shift. The last move away from open racial politicking, however, would come after the 1970 South Carolina race for governor between Republican U.S. Rep. Albert Watson and Democratic Lt. Gov. John West.

Watson ran against busing, and the campaign whipped racist flames across the state. West said Thurmond worked harder for Watson than Watson worked for himself. Watson lost, and Thurmond began charting a new course.

He hired a black staff member in 1971, and he began working to change his image as a racist. He began broadening his legendary work for constituents to include black South Carolinians.

Modjeska Simpkins, a longtime advocate for civil rights in South Carolina, told The News before her death that she believed Thurmond had genuinely changed. "Down there somewhere, there was something fundamentally all right" about the senator. She said she asked Thurmond for help, and "he has never refused to help, and he has helped in every case."

I.S. Leevy Johnson was one of the first blacks elected to the South Carolina General Assembly in the 1970s. He said Thurmond was "not forgiven for the obstacles he put in the path of African-Americans to exercise the rights and privileges taken for granted by others." But he said Thurmond worked to address black concerns and was a strong supporter of black colleges.

Another black political pioneer, state Sen. Kay Patterson, said Thurmond's early record on race is indefensible. But Patterson said he believes Thurmond had "a change of heart on the road to Damascus, like Paul. He woke up and saw the light."

Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., and Nancy Moore are shown in this 1966 file photo taken at a GOP fund raiser.while she was Miss South Carolina. The two were married in 1968 and are presently separated. Thurmond who is retiring after serving 48 years in the U.S. Senate will celebrate his 100th birthday Dec. 5, 2002. (AP Photo/The State) (Photo: The Greenville News Copyright 2002No)

A new wife

Thurmond added a new dimension to his image in 1968 when he married Nancy Moore, a 22-year-old former Miss South Carolina. The senator was 66.

Dent, Thurmond's longtime political aide, said the marriage added to Thurmond's already virile image. The couple had two sons and two daughters. One of his sons, Strom Jr., is now South Carolina's chief federal prosecutor.

The marriage lasted until 1991, when they separated. In his final months, however, she returned to his side to care for him.

Thurmond reached the height of his power in 1981 when Ronald Reagan swept into Washington with a Republican wave that captured the Senate. Thurmond was then president pro tem of the Senate and chairman of the Judiciary Committee. He was third in line to the presidency after the vice president and House speaker.

He played critical roles in judicial nominations, crime bills and defense issues. Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy said an important part of Thurmond's Senate legacy is his work with him to reform the nation's criminal sentencing laws.

Kennedy said he and Thurmond fought mandatory sentencing laws as a solution to sentencing disparities by crafting guidelines in the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984. Kennedy said he and Thurmond "came to the issue from different perspectives, but we agreed on the goal of fair sentencing laws. It took several years of debates, but Sen. Thurmond and I stood together."

At 90, the senator's 22-year-old daughter, Nancy Moore, was fatally injured in 1993 when she was struck by a car while crossing the street near her off-campus apartment in Columbia. She was a beauty queen and a student at the University of South Carolina. Thurmond was devastated. He and his wife were there for a 17- hour vigil before she died.

Thurmond ran his last campaign in 1996, and in his final years, he largely receded from the national stage. He still went to work and attended congressional hearings, but he was propped up by a retinue of loyal aides -- including his longtime chief of staff, the devoted Duke Short. At the end of his last Senate term, he was spending nights at Walter Reed Army Hospital.

His vast network of efficient aides and allies that had for so many years provided a sturdy cocoon slowly began to fade away. Thurmond spent much of his last 30 days as a senator receiving accolades from almost the entirety of official Washington -- from liberals such as Kennedy to President Bush.

In the end, he left amid the great cacophony of national controversy, defined again by his mid-20th-century opposition to civil rights for black Americans.

Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., waves as he's applauded on the way to speaking at the South Carolina Republican Party state convention May 4, 1996, in Columbia, S.C. Thurmond who is retiring after serving 48 years in the U.S. Senate will celebrate his 100th birthday Dec. 5, 2002. (Photo: LOU KRASKY, AP)

Dec. 5, 1902 - Born in Edgefield, S.C.

1923 - Graduates from Clemson University with Bachelor of Science degree

1923 - 1929 - McCormick, Ridge Spring and Edgefield, S.C. teacher and athletic coach.

Jan. 9, 1924 - Commissioned 2nd lieutenant, U.S. Army Reserve

1923 - 33 - Edgefield County, S.C. superintendent of education

1930 - Admitted to South Carolina bar after studying law under his father, Judge J. William Thurmond.


Former US Senator Strom Thurmond Dies at 100 - 2003-06-27

Republican Senator Strom Thurmond, the oldest U.S. senator ever and probably one of the most colorful, died on Thursday at the age of 100.

"The senate will come to order. The chaplain will now deliver the opening prayer," announced Strom Thurmond.

Until advancing age and declining health finally slowed him down, Strom Thurmond was there every morning, calling the Senate into session. He spent more than 48 years on Capitol Hill, which made him both the oldest and the longest-serving senator in American history. He ran for his last term in 1996, even as opinion polls suggested the voters wanted him to retire. In the end Mr. Thurmond won that race handily, keeping his place in the Senate Republican leadership.

Strom Thurmond was born in December 1902 in the small town of Edgefield, South Carolina. He began his political career as a Democrat in 1929, served in World War II and was elected state governor just afterward.

In 1948 he ran for president on a third-party [Dixiecrat] ticket with a platform of racial segregation. Years later he argued the issue was not race, but the rights of the states, which he felt were being abused by President Truman.

"Truman did a lot of good things," he said. "He dropped the [atomic] bomb [on Japan], which was good, some other things. But he wanted to bring the power to Washington. I wanted to keep it with the states and that is the reason I ran against him."

Mr. Thurmond also opposed many civil rights laws of the 1950s and 60s. To block one of those bills he took the Senate floor and talked for more than 24 hours. That record-setting speech, or filibuster, became part of his legend. The legend gained another chapter when, in his 60s, the senator married a 22-year-old former beauty queen. They later had four children.

Mr. Thurmond eventually moderated his stand on race, but otherwise kept his conservative views, especially on the need for a strong national defense. He switched to the Republican Party in 1964 because, as he put it, he thought the Democrats were leading the country toward socialism.

As he aged, Mr. Thurmond sometimes seemed confused or hard of hearing. But during President Clinton's impeachment trial, when younger senators let their minds wander or even dozed off, he sat attentively and took in every word. He led an active life until his last few years, setting milestones and still representing his state.


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